As usual, the party members meet for breakfast. They spend a while discussing what they actually want from SuSAG providing that the take the bait.
As the bargaining expert, they ask Max what he thinks they should ask for. He takes a long drag on his cigarette before replying.
“The fing is wiv SuSAG is we know that they can be nasty bastards an’ they don’t care who they take out to furvver their agenda,” he replies. “If we get greedy an’ ask too much, they’ll probably agree wiv it an’ then send their boys round to get it back off us. If we keep the demands reasonable, then chances are that they’ll just think it easier to play ball rather than ‘avin’ all the ‘assle of tryin’ to bump us off.”
“What does your Mum want to do about the ranch anyway?”
Taeva realizes that there is only one way to find out for sure and that’s to speak with her. She gives her a call. After listening to the update from Taeva, Shania says that she would be happy to sell the ranch if they could get a good price for it. She says that it was only Taeva’s father’s stubbornness that kept them there that long. With neither Taeva nor her sister wanting to take over the ranch, she knows that it will be an uphill struggle to keep the ranch functioning when they would need to get a new crew of ranchers. In addition, the place will always remind her of her husband. She’d rather make a fresh start somewhere like Plainsville. She says that Hyrm would also be content there as well.
Taeva passes on the message to the others and Max nods, knowing what he needs to try and get.
The meeting with the CEO is set for 13.00 at the restaurant, but Grim, Arvor and Jie set off a couple of hours earlier in order to stakeout the place in case SuSAG have some tricks up their sleeve. They spot an air/raft parked a few doors down that looks like it has a couple of goons in there keeping an eye out, the same as they are doing.
Taeva, Max and William arrive at 12.45 and take a table at the back, out of earshot of the other diners, knowing that the CEO will probably not be very talkative if the conversation can be overheard.
Bang on 13.00, an expensive grav/limo with tinted windows pulls up outside the restaurant. Three goons leap out first and secure the area. Once they have formed a human shield between the limo door and the entrance to the restaurant, the occupant gets out and hurries into the restaurant.
John Grantham is a silver-haired man that looks around 40. Chances are though that he’s at least double that what with the free anagathics which must surely be one of the many perks of being a senior employee of SuSAG.
He scans the room and Taeva nods in recognition. John and two of the goons come forward while the other stands next to the door, scanning the room.
He introduces himself politely to everyone showing his good manners. They make small talk before they order, and then get down to business. For half an hour, the two sides dance around the issues. John is obviously probing to get as much information as to how much the party knows as possible, while the party members try to give as little away as possible.
Finally they start to talk numbers. Max and John spend thirty minutes politely haggling over how much SuSAG would pay to but the ranch from the Traskes. Eventually John gets to a figure of MCr. 2 million on contract plus a retainer of Cr.200,000 per annum, index-linked for inflation.
Max checks that this is OK with Taeva. Taeva is aware of the fact that the ranch was never in the best of positions, swampland being practically worthless under usual circumstances. The money is more than enough to set them up for life in a cheap place to live like Plainsville. They agree to the deal subject to contract which, on SuSAG’s behalf, will include their sending a botanist to survey the ranch.
Max then comes on to negotiate the sale of the 100 kilos of Tarsuline they have with them. After more haggling, they settle on a price of Cr.200,000 for the lot. Arrangements are made for Max to arrange the delivery and payment with one of John’s underlings.
The deals now having been struck, John shakes hands with everyone and disappears back into the grav/limo. Grim, Arvor and Jie watch the second air/raft take off after him.
Max asks the others if they can take care of delivering the Tarsuline to the SuSAG so that he can find a really good lawyer and get the contract written. William speaks to the Senior VP of Procurement about the exchange. Nothing with SuSAG is ever easy and they will only make the exchange in a field 20km outside Newland later that evening.
Suspicious of a doublecross, the party members head out early in the air/rafts to get good sniper positions and to check that SuSAG aren’t doing the same. The area is surprisingly clear of any SuSAG security. They find out why this is the case when the SuSAG Senior VP arrives in a G-Carrier and two goons emerge from it dressed in combat armor with PGMP-12’s. Nervously William does the deal. SuSAG are good to their word though. The VP checks the cargo, keys over the Cr.200k and then disappears back inside the G-Carrier immediately. The goons carry the container inside and the G-carrier takes off, leaving William in a flurry of snow.
With relief that it all went smoothly, they all head back to the hotel where they find Max sitting next to the fire drinking a brandy and checking the wording of the contract that the very expensive lawyer had prepared.
The party members have a good meal to celebrate their good deal on the Tarsuline and then head for their rooms. knowing it will be an early start in the morning.